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Tipping the Matire D' (in the northwest)


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Oops. Maitre. Not Matire.

To get into a little more detail based on another thread,

Tipping the Maitre d' there's a discussion on the practice of tipping/bribing restaurant employees. In New York? No doubt. Vegas? LA? Of course. But Seattle and Portland? What has been your experience in greasing palms in the Northwest?

Bartenders: I think this one is straightforward. For new customers, a big tip for the first drink and generous tipping thereafter. Bartenders have direct control over the service experience.

Chefs: I've never sent a drink to a chef I don't already know. Have you? Did it make a difference?

Servers: Does tipping at the start of your dinner bring extra service? I've never worked any place where wondrous extras were within my control. Captains, I can see, but regular do-it-yourself servers?

And lastly Maitre d's, hosts, and hostesses: I can only think that expereinced MDs would be smooth enough to accept it gracefully. Does it get you an quick table with out a reservation? :hmmm:

Edited by Magala (log)
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To get into a little more detail based on another thread,

Tipping the Maitre d' there's a discussion on the practice of tipping/bribing restaurant employees. In New York? No doubt.  Vegas? LA? Of course. But Seattle and Portland? What has been your experience in greasing palms in the Northwest?

Bartenders: I think this one is straightforward. For new customers, a big tip for the first drink and generous tipping thereafter. Bartenders have direct control over the service experience.

Chefs: I've never sent a drink to a chef I don't already know.  Have you? Did it make a difference?

Servers: Does tipping at the start of your dinner bring extra service?  I've never worked any place where wondrous extras were within my control.  Captains, I can see, but regular do-it-yourself servers?

And lastly Maitre d's, hosts, and hostesses: I can only think that expereinced Maitre d's would be smooth enough to accept it gracefully.  Does it get you an immediate table with out a reservation?

:hmmm:

Years ago when I lived in the LA area I often visited the Comedy Store, where you have tickets, but stand in line for entry. When you get to the head of the line, the Maitre'd would simply lead you to a table near the back. We got into the habit of taking several $1 bills and slightly crunching them up, and then cupping in our hand and discreetly "shaking" the hand of the Maitre'd with it. He'd never actually look at the bills, but would pocket them, and lead us to a table at the front. Many times it was only $5, but "felt" like it might be more!

I've tried that same tactic at concerts at Jazz Alley here in Seattle for the last two "Tower of Power" concerts (where I have a ticket, and then they guide you to a seat) and I was seated near the front. :rolleyes:

Cheers,

Carolyn

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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Once in Whistler a group of 6 of us didn't have reservations on a busy saturday night and were told the wait would be over an hour. I 'shook' the hostesses hand with a $10 bill and said anything she could do would be great and we were seated in about 10 minutes

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Somebody's got to demo that technique for me. I've never shaken hands with a FOH person, and I can't figure out how to do it with money involved. Leaving aside the question of whether I ever should do it, I just can't see how to be discreet about it.

I mean, you walk in empty-handed. They say sorry, a one hour wait. You then...what? Run to the bathroom to pull out your wallet? Have money stashed in your bra or pocket just in case? What?

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Somebody's got to demo that technique for me.  I've never shaken hands with a FOH person, and I can't figure out how to do it with money involved.  Leaving aside the question of whether I ever should do it, I just can't see how to be discreet about it.

I mean, you walk in empty-handed.  They say sorry, a one hour wait.  You then...what?  Run to the bathroom to pull out your wallet?  Have money stashed in your bra or pocket just in case?  What?

Hey Abra...next time I see you I'll show you my 'technique'. I haven't had to do it very often in restaurants but almost always when I check into a hotel. My success rate at getting a better room is probably about 90%...((-:

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Somebody's got to demo that technique for me. 

The two ways I know of are

1) Paper method. Hand someone a piece of paper, like a business card and tuck the folded bill under the paper, with a slight edge showing. You can do this with curbside porters at the airport and ask them to check your bags first class so they come out first. That "your bags first" thing never happens any more, but that's how the handoff is done.

2) Handshake method. Here you do a little sleight of hand with palming the bill, like in a card trick. Fold the bill in thirds and then in half again so you accomplish two things: You've got one edge to hold the bill between your fingers, so you can hold your hand out in handshake postion, but still hide the bill from view. And you've also got another edge that the recipient can feel, so they know you're passing them something. Practice with friends; they'll appreciate the free $20s.

But still...does it WORK here?

Edited by Magala (log)
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My friends wanted to go to Bucca di Beppo (not me!) There were 8 of us and we arrived at 7pm. The wait was over an hour. While the rest of my party stood outside, I walk in and flashed a twenty to the hostess and asked if we could be seated sooner. She proceeds to yell at me in front of the entire waiting area people, "WE DO NOT TAKE BRIBES!!!" I walked out with my tail between my legs. Outside, my friend asked me how it went. I said, "You try, they want more money." :wink:

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My friends wanted to go to Bucca di Beppo (not me!) There were 8 of us and we arrived at 7pm. The wait was over an hour. While the rest of my party stood outside, I walk in and flashed a twenty to the hostess and asked if we could be seated sooner. She proceeds to yell at me in front of the entire waiting area people, "WE DO NOT TAKE BRIBES!!!" I walked out with my tail between my legs. Outside, my friend asked me how it went. I said, "You try, they want more money."  :wink:

Brilliant. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

-Mike & Andrea

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My friends wanted to go to Bucca di Beppo (not me!) There were 8 of us and we arrived at 7pm. The wait was over an hour. While the rest of my party stood outside, I walk in and flashed a twenty to the hostess and asked if we could be seated sooner. She proceeds to yell at me in front of the entire waiting area people, "WE DO NOT TAKE BRIBES!!!" I walked out with my tail between my legs. Outside, my friend asked me how it went. I said, "You try, they want more money."  :wink:

Do you think she reads eGullet? :biggrin:

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My friends wanted to go to Bucca di Beppo (not me!) There were 8 of us and we arrived at 7pm. The wait was over an hour. While the rest of my party stood outside, I walk in and flashed a twenty to the hostess and asked if we could be seated sooner. She proceeds to yell at me in front of the entire waiting area people, "WE DO NOT TAKE BRIBES!!!" I walked out with my tail between my legs. Outside, my friend asked me how it went. I said, "You try, they want more money."  :wink:

They should have paid you $20.

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Bribing someone for the 'privilege' of eating their restaurant's food isn't something I thought we did here in the PNW.

Apparently I was wrong.

There seems to be a large number of people in the eastern US metroplexes that can't/won't cook their own food; they are welcome to pay whatever they think is necessary to obtain nutrition.

I'm not going to bribe anyone to let me eat their food. There are too many other options, foremost being not going to a pretentious overbooked restaurant in the first place.

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My friends wanted to go to Bucca di Beppo (not me!) There were 8 of us and we arrived at 7pm. The wait was over an hour. While the rest of my party stood outside, I walk in and flashed a twenty to the hostess and asked if we could be seated sooner. She proceeds to yell at me in front of the entire waiting area people, "WE DO NOT TAKE BRIBES!!!" I walked out with my tail between my legs. Outside, my friend asked me how it went. I said, "You try, they want more money."  :wink:

Well aren't you suave!! :laugh:

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